Serie A: Lazio looking to bounce back

02 December 2021 03:34:37 GMTPlus10
Maurizio Sarri hoping to address form

Two more Serie A games complete the midweek schedule on Thursday with Lazio seeking a response after losing 4-0 at the hands of top dogs Napoli at the weekend.

Sarri hoping for a reaction

Lazio have had a slightly below-par start to the season which has put them eighth in the table after 14 games.

They've already lost five times this season and haven't done themselves justice against any of the top sides in Serie A.

Against AC Milan in their third Serie A match of the season, they were soundly beaten 2-0 and losses to Bologna and Hellas Verona were to follow.

In the last two games, they have been beaten by Sarri's former clubs in Juventus and Napoli without scoring.

All this equates to them having the joint-worst defensive record in the top half of the table and that is an area they will need to improve upon as they enter the second half of the season.

However, one plus point ahead of their Thursday test against Udinese is the form of striker Ciro Immobile.

Even though there are question marks against him on the European and international stage, the 31-year-old's proficiency in front of goal domestically cannot be questioned and he is available at 4.00 to score the first goal.

Pressure on Gotti to win

Udinese might be the perfect opponents for Lazio given their dreadful run of form which has seen them drop to 14th in the table.

Luca Gotti's men had a very promising start to the season, drawing 2-2 at home to Juventus before securing clean sheet wins against Venezia and Spezia.

However, they have since gone on to win only one of their following 11 matches which was a 3-2 win at home to mid-table Sassuolo earlier this month.

Goalscoring has been an issue for Udinese with only three sides having a less potent attacking force this season.

Their top scorer Beto has just four goals to his name while ex Watford and Everton wide man Gerard Deulofeu has three.

They have won only one away game this season and can be backed to double that against Lazio at 6.00, while the home side are 1.60 and a draw is priced at 3.80.

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Torino hoping to preserve strong home form

Torino face Empoli in Thursday's other Serie A encounter and are certainly in the groove when it comes to their recent form at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Ivan Juric's men have won three in a row on their own patch with Genoa, Sampdoria, and Udinese going down to defeats.

In contrast, they have lost each of their four away games 1-0 so home advantage is clearly something they relish.

However, injuries are beginning to stack up for and Torino are missing their main centre forward Andrea Belotti.

The target man, who was part of Italy's triumphant squad at the Euros over the summer, has not had a spectacular season, scoring only two goals, but his presence up front usually provides panic in opposition defences.

Koffi Djidji, Ricardo Rodriguez, Cristian Ansaldi, and Simone Verdi are also missing for the home side who are seeking a fifth home win in eight matches this season.

They can be backed to beat Empoli at 1.75 with the visitors available at 4.75, while a draw is priced at 3.60.

Empoli enjoying trips away this season

Empoli have traditionally been one of the yo-yo clubs in Italian football and may have expected a relegation battle after winning Serie B last season.

However, they have re-acclimatised to the top tier very well indeed and currently sit 11th.

A big part of that is their fantastic form on the road with four of their six Serie A matches away from the Stadio Carlo Catsenalli ending in victory.

Scalps have included Juventus in their second match of the season thanks to a goal from Leonardo Mancuso, while they arrive into this game on the back of a home win against Fiorentina.

This one could see plenty of goals scored, with Empoli not exactly having the most watertight defence in the league.

Their last four matches have produced at least 2.5 goals and only three teams in the league have conceded as many despite their very respectable league standing.

Torino have also kept only one clean sheet in their last ten matches and the match to produce over 2.5 goals can be backed at 1.90.

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